lofty ambition: going up!

it's finally time. time to make pretty the magical room of wonders, aka "the playroom/judah and layla's shared bedroom." 

i was pretty pleased with us for pulling off the skeleton and function of this room last january, and was a-okaywith putting off making it pinterest-worthy cute for a few months until i could decide on and get the motivation to do it right. no more! 

and, YOU GUYS, it turns out that waiting was a brilliant move, because now i have gotten the opportunity to team up with IKEA Atlanta to finish this room in style. seriously. this is a big deal that i am BEYOND excited for. if youve been here for like 2 nanoseconds, you know my undying love of IKEA, so the fact that this partnership is happening makes me squealy loco beyond measure. 

i'm feeling very "david after the dentist" about the whole affair. IS THIS REAL LIFE?!?!?!

there are some fundamental challenges to solve in this room from the get go:

1. STORAGE: there is no closet. because the kids sleep in there. 
2. SPACE: this room is not big even for a single bedroom. at about 110 square feet, we're going to need some magic to make it a pretty and functional multi-use room for active and growing kidlets

so before i even set foot in IKEA, i knew we'd need to DIY ourselves some vertical space. i've said it before,  but the maximization of vertical space is my love language. our house may be tiny, but it has vaulted ceilings. so how can we use this to our advantage in the kids' room/playroom?

let's find out together, shall we?


 as you walk in, this wall is to your immediate left. a good 8 feet of vertical NOTHING. that's a LOT of space the tiny little 3 foot minions could be using.


so while i was at work one wednesday, i ghetto-designed a plan for that space that would give about 21 extra square feet (not much but a big deal when youre only starting with 110) of play/read/chill area and add some unexpected and unique adventure funk to the boring room.

i had no idea how much this would cost, if jesse had the skillz to pull off the carpentry, or if we would ever finish it (since our kids sleep time is when we DIY).

jesse is wonderbot. wednesday night while i was at girls group he went and got the materials (for $70 total!!!) and on thursday morning, layla had this set up welcoming her for her birthday!

ready, set, everyone freak out about safety. it was like 2 seconds, and this was not the finished product. (we took the fan blades off too after big mommy got stuck in them on her way up the ladder, like some vertical subway turnstile of hilarity. Also I was pantsless when this happened thank your lucky stars it wasn't photographed)

by friday afternoon jesse had created THIS:

can you even handle it? (if not, there are built in handles right there. #awesomejoke)

this joker is beyond safe. jesse and i both got up there and jumped around to be sure it was ultra-secure. we almost didnt come down because of FUNNNNNNNN (and because no one brought up a pee jar).

fun space above, play and storage below. its like we created shelves to store our tiny people on!

little rapunzel (que apropos!!) took the first climb up the tower. (in her polyester nightmare of a disney nightgown that she picked out on her birthday the night before, despite all of my steering her toward way cuter stuff...she may get married wearing this dress)

 let down your HAY-UR!

it must be noted that judah is terrified of this thing. jesse, in a rookie move, taught him the phrase "afraid of heights" and he has been invoking it nonstop against all my cajolings to try to get him up there. at first he just kept saying "there needs to be a rug up there" and i thought he just didnt like the hard smoothness. but now he is locked and loaded with the acrophobia and staying put.

he came all the way up once with (aka ON) me when i threw the iPad and some cookies up there the first day it was completed, but the lil' baby bird was shaking the whole time, his heart all aflutter. so i havent even mentioned it to him since then (cant be giving him a complex!).

he loves the ladder and the jumping-off-of-it-onto-people opportunities it affords him.  he had only gone up the the 3rd step on his own. i would say, "do you think you can get to level 4?" and he'd always say no. well he finally made it to level four 3 days ago, but he has decided that since he IS four, he will wait until he's five to go up another rung. 

mark your calendars: may of 2016 he is scheduled to reach the loft itself.

so thats our first step towards making this room a stone cold stunner. 

we will probably post a tutorial on how we made/secured this beast soon, as well as plenty o' more progress as it progresses. 

dukes out.

ps a million thanks and hugs and free beers to you all for the outpouring of love on my previous post. the emails, comments, texs, fb messages and just general love and empathy i got from yall blew me away and carried me through. hands and feet of jesus, i tell ya.



i had a massive breakdown today. if i actually wrote out what all it was about you would probably think i was being dramatic or overreacting. you'd probably be right because it really wasnt anything that should have caused a DEFCON IV level freakout. i know that in my rational brainparts. 

and yet it just took over me. like full force, relentless, all-consuming took over me. it felt like i was drowning in pure, undiluted toxic stress acid. 

i ended up having to take the morning off of work, made jesse take the kids to school, and then about 4 hours later, i was ready to talk about to jesse about it. i made a list of things that were causing this tsunami of overwhelmedness and we started sorting them into categories: 1. things i could take action steps to relieve, 2. things that jesse could actively help with and 3. things we didnt have any control over anyway and just need to pray about.. 

when i'm in a coping crisis like this, the littlest thing can threaten to sink me. the straw feels made of lead and i am a camel with a very brittle backbone. anything can further the downward spiral in my head to the point that it finally just obliterates my attitude, self-worth and peace of mind. so putting it all on paper was surprisingly helpful. whereas minutes earlier, it had had me in tears, seeing on paper, "my blush broke apart in my makeup bag and now there is pink dust everywhere" is slightly less intimidating (and almost funny...except that effing dust is EVERYWHERE). thats just one line of writing and 10 minutes of cleanup. writing it down is like turning on the lights when my imagination is running wild at night. oh, there is no monster in the closet, after all, that's just a sweater. i can deal with a big pile of sweaters a lot easier than i can deal with a horde of unknown monsters.

i also learned (for the 1,427th time) that my husband is AMAZING. i was feeling so guilty as he went down the list and said, "okay i can take care of this one. i will handle that one. i can do this while you take a nap." i was like, "that's not fair! i cant keep asking you to do things like this. then it's all on you and when are you going to finally break like i have?" and he just said, "i dont break." 

he wasnt being braggy or claiming to not have stress or get overwhelmed at times. he was just stating the fact that he doesnt struggle with this kind of issue like i do. instead of adding, "i feel guilty about putting my junk on jesse's plate" to my stress list, i decided to just shut up, believe him, and accept the blessing from jesus himself of having a husband who is able and willing to help me and who doesnt have the same personality type as me.

as i was finally headed into work i started thinking about this aspect of my personality. how insanely unhelpful it would have been to hear someone tell me, "well, you shouldnt be freaking out about such little things. you just need to calm down." solid advice, and true--for sure it's TRUE-- but completely useless in penetrating the fog or actually doing anything but making me feel worse. immediately my brain associated this idea with telling an addict that they "shouldn't" want drugs. and then i thought, "could i be addicted to stress?" 

i have heard alcoholics say that they hate drinking. hate how it makes them feel, hate how much it hurts the people in their lives; and yet they say they are powerless to stop going back to it. i usually judge these forms of addiction and pat myself on the back for being "strong enough" to not be a slave to anything so destructive. but today it hit me that i might actually be full of self-righteous crap when i think this way.  because maybe i do have an addiction that is just as destructive in its own way.

i am not trying to play the addiction card to one-up anyone or even to equate my struggles with something as serious as a substance abuse addiction, but after how fast and hard things went down today, i am also not willing to just write it off as harmless Type-A, frazzled mommy behavior. all i know is that it felt sinister, it felt hopeless, and it felt totally out of control. sadly, this was definitely not the first time i have felt this way (even in the past month) so i am going to be asking jesus about this pattern in my life and how he wants to heal it. 

another one of the items on my list of stressballs was "i havent been blogging enough." jesse talked me away from that bullet point (ha! literally) by reminding me that i dont get angry at my favorite bloggers when they dont write for awhile (it's almost laughable when i think of it like that). he assured me that the majority of people who read these posts dont do it because it's great content (though he thinks it is because he's #1), but because for whatever reason, they care about me/my story.  he said that the only reason people can relate to anything i write is because it  is authentic and real and that i cant force that just because my post frequency has dwindled lately. "when you feel strongly about something, youll feel like writing about it. just take a break until then."  um, ok? i'll try that. 

but he also encouraged me to see this as a community that could help in this very situation if i did write about it (and, two birds, one stone i'd actually be writing a post in the process!). that yall could help by praying for me. it feels a little weird to ask for prayer on my blog when it's not for something grabby, headline-making or heart-rending. but whatever, i'm not trying to win a sob-story contest. i AM trying to not destroy my fragile brain and my family in the process of making it look like i have my shit together when i ohsodont.

so i'm asking for some prayer. i'm deliberately choosing to set down the lies that produce guilt and insecurity about being an internet hot mess (even though they are so tempting to believe), and to just trust my weird, vulnerable heart to yall and be real with where i am and what i could really use help with right now.  

ok,and  this is me doing that. the end.


feeling cross

for some reason my 6th grade class had a unit where we learned how to cross stitch. i have no clue if this was real curriculum or a teacher on the brink (it was in homeroom, not art!). i actually enjoyed it as a school subject for that week, but never stuck with it because, A: it took too long, and B: even in my style-infancy at age 10 i knew that the basic designs available for this medium were butt ugly (my opinion).

now that i am an adult i have a word to put to the style of traditional cross stitch: KITSCH. like grandmas love it and we've all seen it and it's kind of just says "Old Fashioned" to even see something cross stitched these days.

here's a sampling of some of the most "classic" designs that come to my mind when i think cross-stitchery ...along with their real titles and where to buy (dont you dare) and my revised titles. 

Gold Collection Petites - Patriotic Angel - Cross Stitch World
"Patriotic Angel" source
"Four Score and Seventy Years Ago...Uncle Sam Totally Hit That."

Dimensions - Three Bird Watchers - Cross Stitch World
"Three Bird Watchers" source
"Carnivores Premeditating"

Mirabilia - The Petal Fairy - Cross Stitch World
"The Petal Fairy" source
"Chaste Fairy Tempted by Stamen"

Design Works - All Steamed Up - Cross Stitch World
"All Steamed Up" source
"Teddy Gestapo Loads Up"

so imagine my surprise to find myself unwittingly in the needlecraft aisle of Joann this past wednesday, shopping compulsively for a cross-stitch starter kit...for myself! at first i attributed it to the new perfume i bought at banana republic. it smelled delicious on me in the store but when i bought a little bottle and wore it the next day, i kept getting distinct "Nana" undertones from it. like i'd look around for the elderly woman and then realize i was all alone with my granny-smelling wrist (no one else seems to agree with me about this, so i continue to wear it. grammy be thrifty, yall!).

so assuming the "Eau du Nana" did NOT seep into my bloodstream and age my style 50 years, what could have induced such a reversal? lemme tell ya: one single Etsy owner and her gorgeous modern designs! (p.s. this isnt a review and i wasnt given a single thing to write this).

i was gamboling down an instagram rabbity hole, stalking one of my followers when i saw that she had a photo of what i thought at first was a cool graphic print of tokyo. upon closer inspection i was shocked to find that it was cross stitch and that i was NOT repulsed by it! i did a little more digging and turns out this was one of many modern cross stitch patterns by the genius @craftnik who was selling a whole collection at her shop Satsuma Street.

in one fell swoop, this chick changed my perspective on cross-stitch as 100% lame and played out. her colors and designs and the way she displayed them (not a single lace-ruffled padded pillowy sign saying "bless this house" or something of the like) utterly freshened up the entire medium in my eyes and made me actually say I MUST HAVE.

she has a handful of adorable international city designs: 

little paris, little italy, little london.

but the one that got me INSTANTLY was the Pirate Ship:

Voyage - Modern Pirate Ship cross stitch embroidery pattern PDF - Instant download
the voyage pattern by satsuma street.

i LOVE the style and colors and knew that it would go perfectly with judah's medieval quilt.  

for less than $13 i had everything i needed to finish this project (starting out with NOTHING...sewing and cross stitch dont share a lot of the same tools beyond scissors) and will have tons left over if it catches on. the only thing not reusable was the $4 black cloth background. 

another pro: cross stitching takes about 60 seconds to learn. i got a quick run down with great pics from this site

so the 10 year old keight was definitely wrong about ALL cross stitch being totally not my style. she just hadnt found the right pattern designers. but she WAS right about one thing: it does take forever. it was disillusioning at first for an impetuous, rushy crafter gal like me to have invested about 4 solid hours into something and to only be this far:

and there are tons of mess ups, whatever. 

this is definitely not a "I NEED THIS ON MY WALL NOW!" sort of project (though i do!). its a labor of love. i mean youre basically painting a picture pixel by pixel. it's a much more relaxed do-it-while-watching-TV sort of craft than sewing a dress or something (nana would NEVER stitch abe lincoln's face with walking dead on in the background...but i would!) and its definitely more relaxING (balancing out the zombie panic in my psyche). and the type-A excel freak in me adores following a gridded map with color coded legend for where each and every stitch goes. that's just plain yummy.

so i dont know if this is a beginning of a beautiful and long cross stitching romance, but i WILL finish the ship and sail it over to judah's wall. if i do keep churning out this sort of thing, i feel like i have to be careful not to have it be EVERYWHERE in my house, you know? i just dont want people coming in my house and thinking, "THIS CHICK LOVES NEEDLEPOINT!" right off the bat. i'm not that far into my conversion yet. 

three cheers for the internet and cool, creative people ransoming an old-fashioned craft and making it blisteringly awesome!


Best-Case Scenario (GIVEAWAY)

okay, so remember when Apple rolled out iOS 7 and the world's collective panties immediately wadded themselves up and gave everyone a massive stress wedgie? i made fun of all the graphic design snobs who were lamenting the tacky colors or the inconsistent KERNing of the new graphics, and was feeling extremely high-minded when i told people, "i cant believe we have these magical amazing phones that do everything for us and SOME PEOPLE are ungrateful enough to complain about slightly imperfect software. GEEEEEESH"

yeah, i'm pretty much the best person of life.

and then iOS 7 started whacking out my phone (an iPhone 5). oh man, my panties may have been late in joining the wad-squad (that phrase pleases me more than i can say), but they more than made up for lost time. 

what would happen was that my phone would freeze while i was typing. for 20 seconds mid-text, it would just lock up. and then, all of a sudden it would quickly spit out all of the characters i had typed (plus of course the extra ones i had rage-tapped while stuck) and then it would close out the app and all be lost. this sounds like not that big of a deal compared to the 21st century novelty of instant talking across vast distances, and yet it may or may not have brought me to tears of frustration more than once.

yeah, i'm pretty much the worst person of life.

so after weeks of this happening and finding no answers online, i decided to just use my upgrade and get the new iPhone 5s. there had really been nothing about this new phone that made me want to upgrade (since the only differences i would notice were the fingerprint scanner and the better camera) right when it was released, but if it operated iOS 7 better, it was worth it.

NOTE: we are not sultans made of gemstones who can afford to earl-adopt technology like whoa. this brand new phone cost a total of $10 out of pocket after we sold my old one on eBay. this is what we ALWAYS do. we actually usually even walk away with a profit AND our newer model phone because many folks will pay much more than we did (when we use our upgrades and re-up our contract to get the discount) to have a phone that is not under contract with a cell provider. 

so here i was with my shiny, pristine new iPhone 5s. all of a sudden my $10 jcrew flimsy rubber case was looking rather insufficient in the protection department (not to mention gross and faded...white rubber cases will inevitably turn dead-skin cell brown over time).

thankfully, i have a friend who works for Case-Mate. with sort of uncanny timing, she contacted me to let me know they were rolling out a bunch of new designs of their iPhone 5/5s cases to go with the 5s release and, would i like to try out some cases to and do a giveaway?

boy, howdy, would i!!!

i went over to their site and almost immediately fell in love with their design aesthetic (i hadnt gotten a case from them in over a year and they have REALLY stepped it up), and picking more than one favorite was not even a challenge. i also love that Case-Mate always ships for free, and that they have yummy cases for all different brands/models of phone/tablet.

ok so let's roll that beautiful bean footage (starting with some general goodness and variety):

the first case i chose to try was MINE ALL MINE. as soon as my eyes fell upon this girl i knew she would be my true love:

i could literally not love this case any more than i do. it feels so chic and yet rustic and yet preppy all at the same time! and i am just gaga over the textures on the woods and of the pattern in general. i turn my phone over all the time and just stroke this case. 

another feature of this case that i love is that the buttons feel just like you are pushing the actual iPhone button. i hated with my old cheap cases how it was like i had to mash down through the rubber and never got a great "click" from it. these buttons are like butter. i actually had to scale back on how hard i mash them since i had gotten so used to the cruddy ill-fitting ones. 

and here is the front view:

i really like how the front has a silver perimeter that goes perfectly with the minimalist design of the phone and mimics the silver outline of the new home button.

but this girl isnt just a pretty face. she's a linebacker too. naturally, a week after i got the phone, it flew out of my hand in the driveway as i was getting out of the car. in an effort to snatch it out of the air before it hit the ground, i actually ended up just smacking it to the concrete even faster (skillz: i had them). it landed face down and i was sure i had just shattered the glass to splinters.

see the little dings in the corners? that was the only damage that my mega-spike inflicted. the hard bumper around the entire case makes it nearly impossible for the phone to actually land ON the screen if you drop it.

the backplate and the perimeter rim are perfectly interlocking and there is even a happy little message inside the rubberized back insulation that would warm the heart of any hipster:


i wanted to get a kid-friendly case too for those times when i go against everything i swore i would never do BEFORE i had kids, and we give them a phone so they will behave/be quiet at a restaurant. i keep this one in my purse and just swap it out when i know the kids will be watching a movie or show on it for a while.

can you guess what this is?

its a little buck-toothed beaver! with a handy wood snack charm in case he gets chompy.

and his ample incisors arent just for cute...

the teeth snap up 

and become a built in kickstand! 

this is huge because my little monsters always get in a fight over who is going to hold the phone and inevitably one person cant see and ugh, i'd rather just not. this way, NOBODY touches the expensive device and we all just enjoy the show hands-free and without bloodsport.

if beavers arent your thing (...no comment...) they also have this style of case in elephant, dog and duck!

i also got to pick one for jesse. this was extra fun because he had been carrying his iPhone 5 around completely unprotected for months. i cannot tell you how nervous this makes me since we are a family with a storied history of dropping and breaking phones. he is really living on the edge by forgoing protection (but i kind of pick my battles in that department...ya know?).

once again though i immediately knew which one was for him. it practically screamed his name, you know, just like i do....when i'm asking him to bring me cheese in the bathtub (not a euphemism).

i'm actually smitten with the entire collection of wood cases. the brushed aluminum + pretty grain of the real hardwoods is such a cool and unexpected (to me) thing up against a state of the art cell phone. 

i would have laughed in your face if you had told me a cell phone case could be sexy. but now, i'm converted and i will just make out with jesse's face instead.

oh, like you wouldnt.

or perhaps you are a purist. you are smitten with the clean, modern design of the phone and just want to let it do the shining. the Naked Tough is your jam.

crystal clear back with a clean white protective rim (also comes in black or clear rim). totally safe and yet nothing left to the imagination. like nude rollerblading in full pads.

the last case that i wanted to give a whirl was one of Case-Mate's custom Design Your Own cases. you just upload any picture your little heart desires and through sorcery it becomes a one of a kind piece of armor. they come in 3 levels of protection (barely there, tough and tough extreme).

i had the hardest time deciding what i wanted on my case. in the end i settled on a favorite graphic from real life and some photos of the fam. 

i just took a cellphone photo of my triangle-patterned clipboard with family photo magnets from our fridge taped onto it using some of my favorite washi tapes.

you could literally do anything. that's the point and the fun and the challenge!

i love how professional and sharp the custom case looks with my photo continuing around the edge.

are your hands itching to get some of this goodness?! well you can...for free!

in celebrating the release of these iPhone 5/5s cases, the gorgeous geniuses at Case-Mate are giving away a $50 store credit which is plenty enough to get any of the cases i've featured (and tons i couldnt fit in!) just follow the directions in the chipper Rafflecopter widget below (give it a minute to load...especially on mobile). 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

P.S. you'll never know how hard i tried to make a title work for this post that, through pun-magic, incorporated The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (because of Case and the new iPhone 5s fingerprint scanning button).


halloween: come on, vamanos!

well, we crushed it again.

by "crushed it" of course i mean, went way over the top with our homemade costumes and made giant spectacles of ourselves. and it was amazing.

a few of yall guessed right when you saw the sneaky peek of the the vest; which was diego's! chanelle actually named all 4 of our characters based just on that photo. stanley nickels to you, my friend!

so we thought of this idea on sunday night and pitched it to the kids. when they fully embraced being dora and diego, we knew the hard part was done.

um, hi. yes. they are perfection. even down to the unintentional pose similarities. 

ok here's the rundown of how everything was made:

backpack & rescue pack: already owned, snagged each from goodwill a while back for 99 cents each (added extra elastic strap length to rescue pack and covered with leather accent)
hair: $2 spray color from wal mart.
dora's bracelet: made from beads
diego's watch: printable from nick jr
baby jaguar stuffed animal: goodwill $1
dora's socks: sewed a ruffled strip of scrap fabric to white socks
diego's patch: printed from internet onto sticker paper.
diego's vest: my crowning achievement, made from a foul $2 women's blouse from goodwill and an old set of cargo shorts.

the blouse and the shirt i used to pattern the vest from.  VEST believe (eh?) i didn't show judah what his vest was BEFORE, or he would have NEVER accepted it.

and the final vest. i cannibalized some hand me down khaki cargo shorts for the pockets and the collar (i LOVED the style of the shorts but they were Sean John brand, and i think i'm not allowed to own that stuff?). added a nice industrial zipper from my stash and  the official digeo patch. i love this thing and it will remain in the kids' dress up box until oblivion.

so dora and diego were adorable and perfect, but they would have been lonely all by themselves. we felt like they needed some familiar faces (muzzles) from their world to make them more at ease:

boots the monkey and swiper the fox! 

yes. thank you. this IS real life and that is how we walked around in front of other humans (99% of whom, if over the age of 10, were NOT in costume).

our inspirations: 

jesse and my costumes are pretty self explanatory. goodwill for the grey hoodie, and fox top and bottom (bottoms were ladies plus sized ahahahaha...rust is a hard color to find!) and then scrap fabric just sewn on in the right places. jesse's nose is cardstock and pipe cleaners. felt ears for both of us.

okay so, a few of my favorite parts of the evening: 

judah being SO paranoid about his luscious locks being turned brown. he was concerned that he wouldnt look like a boy anymore (he has seen brown headed male children before, so i dunno), and then that the texture was all rough and sticky (as opposed to lush and silky per his usual).

mild-to-moderately extremely concerned.

when we first arrived it was as it is every year for me: an utter stress meltdown and introvert's nightmare. i am already a little frazzled from a million last minute DIY additions to the costumes, am looking for someone to take pics for us as the light fades, my kids have been given emotional PCP/angeldust by the overstimulation of seeing all the people/costumes/games/rides, my husband is being mister extrovert and is method acting AS Swiper to anyone who comes near us, and i am trying to just get everyone inside and fed some hot dogs so that there is something to wage war against a case of the candy-evils in my kids stomachs. and just for fun, this year my uterus is summiting Mount PMS and is tricking my brain into lunacy as all this occurs.

so of course when my kids begin wantonly disobeying my missives to follow me (WHY ARE YOUR SHOES OFF!?!?!) or stay close as we go check in, i have to discipline them. here comes the "my favorite" portion).

just imagine all the onlooking children who were likely traumatized for life by a big mommy style Boots the Monkey getting all stern and consequenc-y on Dora and Diego at church halloween party. ah, golden moment!.

to be fair, even smiling, Mommy Boots is pretty creeptastic, right layla? (i forgot i was already dressed like this when i went to wake her up from her nap. oh, she jumped a good 3 cm when i came boots-ing in)

the opposite of favorite was the several incorrect guesses of our costumes we got. i got one, "mommy, look, a Teletubby!" and jesse got several "hey, what does the fox say?" unacceptable. 

for the most part though, people TOTALLY got swiper. jesse hammed it up to the max and attempted to swipe any kid's candy who told him "no swiping!" he even tricked judah and swiped and ate a bite of his pepperoni pizza while in character. judah was NOT AMUSED no matter how much jesse said, "i'm swiper! thats what i do!" judah kept saying, "no DADDY [would not call him swiper while offended], dont eat my pizza!" ok, boundary discovered and noted!


Put Up Your Dukes does not condone or support the above treatment of baby jaguar. Diego has issued an apology and will be attending sensitivity training.

washing the kids hair our was so gross and yet pleasing. i made the mistake of giving layla a bath and when her shampoo foam started spewing chocolate milk bubbles, i knew the tub was soon to follow in browness. judah took a shower so they wouldnt end up with a soaked-in tan from supersaturated brown tub water. (the spray in stuff washed out super easy with only one shampooing. that stuff was SO worth it).

 sweet lil' dora.

when i brought home jesse's gloves i was so excited to have found perfect purple gloves at goodwill for $2. and then jesse started complaining that they were the wrong color and swiper's stuff was blue. i totally disagreed and thought violet at most. we stubbornly both agreed to disagree on the color and just decided, purple would have to do since it was what we had. 

as i was making the swiper headband thing, judah came in and, 100% unprompted,  goes (with jesse within earshot) " mommy, let me show you what real blue looks like" as he brought me a blue marker.  fair enough, boys.

happy halloween from a bunch of lunatics!

if youre wondering: where was swiper's tail?! you are not alone. in what had to have been the low point of our marriage, we got in a HUGE fight about a damn cartoon foxtail.  there was no tail, everyone still recognized him as swiper, and we are still married. maybe this is all we need to know.

ok so this was year #5 of this malarkey. can we officially retire now?